SFTV

Posted by: Barbara

SFTV - 09/24/09 06:25 PM

Since science fiction shows are popping up all over television instead of being confined to that channel with the unspeakable name, why not one topic for all of them? The highly anticipated FlashForward starts tonight on ABC; let's all cross our fingers and hope that it's not another Virtuality or Defying Gravity. And only a few more weeks until the premiere of Stargate Universe.

This way, those poor, benighted souls who never discovered the exquisite joys of science fiction can just skip this topic and not have to worry about running into SF talk in the Television 2009 topic.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 09/25/09 10:33 AM

Good idea, on the eve of a new SF series on ABC. I'm back to wait-and-see on FlashForward. Soft SF, but that's OK. It mimics Lost's opening episode, and while that was effective, it makes me question the originality behind the show.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 09/25/09 06:03 PM

Not a whole lot of originality here, no. The Airport plot is a cliché now...we're given glimpses of the private lives of characters who don't know each other but who are brought together by some catastrophic event. But I'm hoping FlashForward doesn't fall into the same trap Heroes did...plots that keep getting more and more complicated because the writers can't figure out a way to resolve earlier complications. I do like the look of the show, though. Very slick. And I like the gimmick of having everyone on earth lose consciousness at the same time, for 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Good solution to the topic-naming problem, Barbara. But when this topic fills up and it's time to start a new one, you might consider removing the space between "SF" and "TV". One fat acronym is always better than two skinny ones.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 09/25/09 07:33 PM

What space?

Even the gimmick is not original -- a population that loses consciousness all at the same time. Remember a little thing called Village of the Damned?
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 09/26/09 02:22 PM

Oh, I kind of liked the space myself.

Yes, Village of the Damned, John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos. Well, it's beginning to look as if there's nothing original in FlashForward at all. It does have a nice stylish look to it, but that won't compensate for routine stories. But hey, it's only the first episode. It's certainly worth a further look.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 09/26/09 03:57 PM

I think the "TV" should go before the "SF".

If I remember it right, Rob Sawyer's book (basis of the show) was as much concerned with the how of the phenomenon as the why. His characters were scientists, not just varieties of Everyman. It's an extremely loose adaptation.

[This message has been edited by Lorna (edited 09-26-2009).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 10/03/09 12:08 PM

Stargate Universe could have had a better opening. Young guy solves a video game problem and that's enough to send him to outer space. That's a direct steal from The Last Starfighter. It was OK there, because that was a "caper" movie. But in a series trying to be dark SF? No way.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 10/03/09 03:15 PM

Let's see, now. A mixed group of military personnel and civilians escapes from an attack by boarding an old ship and then get lost and must find their way back to Earth. Didn't we just watch that series? Four fragmented seasons of it?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/03/09 07:20 PM

Maybe SGU's idea of dark SF is to dim the lights on the set. And it's really not a good idea to play the Noble Sacrifice card in the first episode, before we've had time to get to know the characters.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 10/04/09 12:13 PM

Whatever happened to Robert Carlyle? He looks like a stick.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 10/04/09 11:55 PM

Age, m'dear, age. I'm going to sing my usual tune: wait until the next episode. The first one was disappointing, but at least they're trying. And hey, we got a sex scene! SG1 never gave us that. Only hints.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 10/10/09 01:26 PM

Age, hm? I think I must have a little problem with that myself, because I can't stand two young women I watched last night. The new gal in Sanctuary is a cliché. The Senator's daughter in SGU is even less than that...she's a zero.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/10/09 02:19 PM

At least SGU had a decent story to tell, although I could have done without that last-minute attempt to generate some suspense by dredging up still another cliché (Will they make it to the gate before it closes?). But I've been unable to warm to any of the Sanctuary cast, including Amanda Tapping -- for whom I have a great deal of respect. There's just no connection.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 10/10/09 11:28 PM

Maybe it's the accent. I know she was born in England, but it just doesn't ring true somehow.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/13/09 06:01 PM

Remember Virtuality, Ron Moore's post-BSG attempt that Fox declined to pick up? Well, Moore did find another buyer, but not in the US. The show's airing in Canada right now.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 10/16/09 07:26 PM

Poor Canadians.

Tapping's accent -- did you notice it in this week's promo? "We ahh at wah."
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/26/09 11:28 PM

I watched the last Sanctuary almost by accident -- and I liked it! Logical story line, nothing too outré, entertaining critters. Amanda Tapping got to do a grieving-mother scene, and she did it well. That must be an extremely difficult form of acting, with no props, other characters, or even scenery to provide focus. Just stand in front of the green screen and let loose.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 11/09/09 07:49 PM

SGU is making it extremely difficult for me to play "Let's pretend!" A communication system that puts shipboard people back in their lives on earth? Not holograms, because they interact with family members, etc. And this communication system works across billions of lightyears of space?? Oh, come on! Phooey.

Sanctuary, on the other hand, had another pretty good episode. It had a magical ending, restoring the world to the way it was before the plague hit. But you accept an impossible ending on this show, because it's fantasy. SGU is mixing fantasy with SF and doesn't seem to recognize the difference.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 11/10/09 10:56 AM

Yeah, that's some communication system all right. Pure fantasy. Wish fulfillment. Dumb writing. Just one more example of how all SF on TV ultimately disappoints. Or am I the only one? I'm still not over the revelation that Starbuck was a ghost. Gack.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 11/11/09 07:17 PM

We are "of" peace, urg. Last night I tuned in for what I thought was the second episode of V and found it was the fourth. I guess that's a fair indication of how eager I am to watch this show.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 11/12/09 04:13 PM

That was the second episode of V, Barbara.

Yeah, that "of peace" phrase is weird as well as grating.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 11/18/09 04:36 PM

Hm, then last night was the third episode, and the season finale is next week. A four-episode season?
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 11/18/09 04:40 PM

It's not the whole season. There was a break in filming, and the season is supposed to resume in January.

The viewing numbers started out high and have dropped every week since then, so the show's future is a bit iffy. But so far as I know, it's still supposed to return in January.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 01/11/10 09:33 PM

Did anyone watch The Plan?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/12/10 12:14 AM

Recorded it; haven't watched it yet.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 01/12/10 05:56 PM

We watched The Plan and liked it a lot. Rather like the show, the first half was the best; it meandered a bit after that.

If you haven't watched the whole series, the movie won't make much sense. It's background and fill in, rather than a standalone.

Also, it doesn't present or explain the famous plan. Rather, it shows the conflicts within the Cylon leadership regarding the attempt to exterminate the humans.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 01/13/10 07:58 AM

Some outtakes from the series were used in The Plan, such as the bit with Starbuck. I was expecting more in the way of build-up, of picturing what led up to the rebellion. But it certainly is watchable, same ambience as the series.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/21/10 07:00 PM

I finally got around to watching The Plan, and while I wish it had started earlier in the story, showing more of what led to the plan of genocide, I did like it a lot. That final scene with the two Cavils waiting to be blown out the airlock was powerful stuff; excellent dialogue.

Caprica starts tomorrow, and I find I'm not looking forward to it as much following that BSG cop-out finale.

But I finally figured out what seems so off about Amanda Tapping's speech in Sanctuary. It's not the accent, it's the pitch. She's speaking in a pitch that's higher than her normal speaking voice. Trying hard to shed the Carter image, I guess.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 01/22/10 09:49 AM

Sure. What woman would want to be stereotyped as a smart, pretty, resourceful authority figure?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/22/10 04:21 PM

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 01/22/10 06:54 PM

Ha, Rita.

I'm looking forward to Caprica myself. Since we know what's coming next, there can't be any copout this time.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 01/23/10 09:51 AM

I don't know about Caprica...I think it's going to require more suspension of disbelief than I'll be able to muster. A 16-year old girl with no obvious discipline is able to do breakthrough work in VR when she's not busy as a religious/political activist. Why would anyone want Zoe back anyway? She's such a brat. And the Taurons are Caprica's Mafia? Oh, please. No mention in BSG that Adama was Tauron, but now we learn he's a descendant of criminals. It's a lot to swallow.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 01/23/10 05:49 PM

The personal relations are clichéd as well. The awful insensitive parents who won't listen to their wonderful sensitive child. It seems to me all they did do was listen to Zoe. Since all the emphasis so far has been on Zoe, maybe the next episode will tell us something about the other lost daughter, Tamara (Joe says TAMara, son Will says TaMAra). And oh yes, Joe is another neglectful father. The final scene was the one really good moment, when Zoe wakes up and looks down on the metal Cylon body she's now wearing.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 01/23/10 06:43 PM

Son Will Adams grows up to be Bill Adama, commander of the Galactica. Did you recognize the chancellor who was murdered by the Tauron hit man? It was the cigarette-smoking man from The X-Files. He played an Ori prior in a late SG-1 episode.

I neither liked nor disliked the pilot episode. I'm playing "Wait and see." Only one thing has me really puzzled. Why are they worshipping Roman gods??
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/25/10 02:27 AM

Ah, but didn't you love that tennis court? It must drive Hawkeye nuts.

I remember I wasn't too impressed with the 2-hour pilot of BSG -- this army of characters saying all these enigmatic things to one another. Then I watched it again at the end of the second season, and now it all made perfect sense! Kind of exciting, in fact. But the Caprica opening doesn't work that way; it's just straightforward story-telling. And the story it's telling is making me go Uh-huh just too many times for me believe it's going to develop into something great. But I'll play Austin's wait-and-see game, even though I can't stand Zoe either.

There was one face I was glad to see there, a Canadian actor named Brian Markinson; he plays Agent Duram. He had a recurring role in Da Vinci's Inquest and Da Vinci's City Hall; I first saw him in an episode of SG-1. Markinson is one of those good actors doomed forever to play supporting roles; I think he's capable of so much more.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 01/25/10 01:27 PM



This guy? Which SG-1 episode?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/25/10 03:22 PM

"Scorched Earth"

Scroll down to the "Production" section; one of the writers credits Markinson for making the episode work.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 03/06/10 10:26 AM

Is anyone having a problem with Caprica? Earlier this week I played the recording I'd made of one episode, and I was 15 or 20 minutes into it before I realized I'd already seen it. That's how engaging I'd found it. Then last night I forgot to watch. Forgot to set the DVR. I forgot the show. I just can't get attuned to this one.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 03/06/10 03:26 PM

I'm hooked on Caprica. I spend the hour living in that world, and I'm sorry when it ends.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 03/08/10 11:22 AM

I haven't forgotten to watch, yet, but I don't look forward to the show. I want to, but I don't.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 03/08/10 05:21 PM

Neither of the two male leads is strong enough to carry a series. I had my doubts about Stolz, but I was hoping Morales could compensate for him. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 03/10/10 08:49 AM

I didn't like the show at first, but now I'm warming to it. I'm not hooked on it, like David, but maybe I will be in time.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 03/26/10 10:25 PM

Caprica's season finale was tonight, and Stargate: Universe returns next week. I'm afraid my reaction to both was "So what?" Austin, weren't you the one who said that all SF on TV ultimately disappoints? I'm thinking you're right about that.

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 03-26-2010).]
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 03/28/10 02:11 AM

Yes, he's right, IMO. But BSG gave us a grand ride for most of its time on the air, until they wrote themselves into a corner and gave us that lame ending instead of a real resolution. The middle seasons of both Farscape and SG-1 were good, until Ben Browder got out of control in the former and RDA left the latter. Coincidentally, the second episodes of both those shows were so bad I stopped watching for a while (and had to play catch-up later!). But in the end, there was no real closure for any of those three.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 03/28/10 12:20 PM

Yep, that's exactly what I meant. I'm reaching the "So what?" stage myself. And "We are of peace" is coming back, or has come back, or something. But that show won't disappoint, because I'm expecting nothing from it. Nada.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/09/10 07:50 PM

Do you know what's wrong with so much science fiction? It's technophobic.

Last week's Stargate: Universe was a kind of final straw for me. The "device" or "stones" or whatever they are...they failed in a time of need. Where would sf be without the failure of technology to perform as expected? There'd be a lot less of it being written, for one thing. Roddenberry's standard response to script problems was "Put the Enterprise in danger." Sentient machines that turn against their inventors and take over the world has become a standard nightmare (Terminator, BSG). Harlan Ellison won awards for "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" -- but it's just a computer menace story. Rob Sawyer's current book (WWW: Wake) has an implanted chip meant to cure blindness; it fails to provide real sight but allows the patient to "see" the Internet. (Not quite as silly as it sounds.) My nominee for the all-time worst ever TV movie is The Forbin Project. The Big Bad Machine is out to getcha, oh yeah.

Actually, I don't think it's a real phobia shared by writers and/or producers. I think it's more likely laziness; Dystopia is much easier to write than Utopia. But the result is a body of technophobic stories that are bound to influence the way people think simply because of their sheer numbers. Enough, already!

End of rant.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 04/10/10 02:03 PM

That's one of the reasons I stopped watching ST:TNG. I would never under any circumstances have set foot aboard that Enterprise. Every little speck of dust in the universe that crossed its path was able to seize control of the ship. SG-1 had a couple of episodes where the stargate malfunctioned, but that's an acceptable proportion to the total number of episodes, considering that the show ran for ten years. The Forbin Project sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't quite place it...
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/11/10 12:42 PM

Don't try to remember it, Chris. Why inflict pain on yourself? It's an unbelievably stupid movie. It was made before the invention of the PC when very few people knew anything about computers (including the filmmakers).

Remember the Liberator on B7? Some fans called it a Mary Jane because it was so perfect, because no FTL ship could be that spacious or that free from mechanical breakdown. (Until it was eaten by a fungus, of course!) I hope we haven't reached a point where viewers expect the technology to fail.

[This message has been edited by Austin (edited 04-11-2010).]
Posted by: Mike

Re: SFTV - 04/11/10 04:31 PM

Can somebody translate that for me? B7, Mary Jane, FTL
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/12/10 12:38 AM

Ha, Mike. Skiffyspeak.

B7 = Blake's 7, a British science fiction TV series that aired about -- ye gods -- 40 years ago. Can that be right?

FTL = Faster Than Lightspeed, possible only in fiction.

Mary Jane = I think this is supposed to be Mary Sue. (Austin?) I'll just assume it is. A Mary Sue is a character in fan fiction who generally is an idealized version of the fan herself. The fiction is based on a favorite TV series; it's a way the fan can insert herself into the action and intermingle with her favorite characters. Frequently the hero falls madly in love with her. I've never heard the Liberator called a Mary Sue, but I can see how the label would fit.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/12/10 07:02 PM

Owww! Mary SUE, Mary SUE! I thought I'd stopped making that mistake. But no, B7's last episode was in 1981, so that's just 29 years. "Just"??? That's a generation ago, wow.
Posted by: Mike

Re: SFTV - 04/13/10 08:51 AM

OK thats clear, but what is skiffyspeak?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/13/10 11:08 AM

Most likely it's a word Barbara just made up. It's like geekspeak or jockspeak. "Skiffy" is the way sci-fi is pronounced by people who don't like sigh-fie.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 04/14/10 10:37 AM

So how do you pronounce it, Austin?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/15/10 09:27 AM

Frankly, I don't like either term. But if I was backed into a corner, I'd go with skiffy.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 04/17/10 09:59 AM

Stargate: Universe wasn't bad last night. And what they thought was a glitch in the technology turned out not to be, so that was a nice change.

The guy playing Eli reminds me of a young Saul Rubinek. I think maybe he's supposed to.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/17/10 06:12 PM

The new Dr. Who arrives tonight, BBCAmerica.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/18/10 10:54 AM

Hey, I like the new guy! And the story was a good one, too. Very Who-ish.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 04/18/10 11:32 AM

There'll be another attempt at Riverworld tonight on SyFy. Four hours long! I plan to tape it and decide later how much of I want to watch.

Probably unsurprisingly, the riverbank shown in the previews looks like areas around Vancouver, BC that show up in other SyFy movies, and the characters look just like some of the characters on BSG, Smallville, V, and other shows filmed in Vancouver. I love Vancouver, but I've never seen any aliens there. Must look harder, next time I'm there.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 04/18/10 04:24 PM

Ha. In Canada, WE are the aliens. That seems like the right approach to Riverworld...record it, decide later. But the first attempt was so bad that this new version has got to be an improvement.

And I like the new kid Dr. Who too. He seems more attuned to the whimsy of the role than anyone since Tom Baker. I hope he has staying power.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/18/10 11:21 PM

He's a pleasant surprise, isn't he? One thing I didn't care for in David Tennant's Doctor was that he was so obviously trying to appear, well, eccentric. You could see him acting. Not so with this new guy. He's got so much energy he can barely contain himself. And I liked the Amelia Pond story. It always tickled me how easily the Doctor's companions gave up everything they were familiar with to go gallivanting around the universe. But this girl has been waiting for the Doctor over half her life. She has no parents, and the aunt she lived with as a child has apparently passed on. She has only a sort-of boyfriend, and she works in a job that would seem to offer little opportunity for advancement (!). This companion was well prepared for. Good.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 04/19/10 12:20 PM

I hate to be a spoilsport, but I'm not so sure about this new guy. All that part at the beginning, about fish sticks and custard and so on, that was just shtick. I'd finally got used to David Tennant, and now I have to start all over again.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 04/19/10 05:23 PM

But isn't he pretty.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/19/10 06:48 PM

Seems to me I remember you saying that before, Rita.

Sure, the fish fingers and custard were shtick, while he was still "cooking" as he put it. But now that he's well done, and the Tardis is working again, and he has a new sonic screwdriver as well as a new companion, things should be shtickless from now on. (In moderation, of course.)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/24/10 01:34 PM

Now who's making up words? "Shtickless" -- I love it.

SGU: Why was Rush's dying wife playing "Vissi d'arte" on the violin of all things? Somebody on the production staff just liked the tune, I bet.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 05/21/10 08:29 PM

Anyone still watching SGU besides me? RDA made a brief appearance in tonight's episode, and he looks like he's on cortisone. Face is wider than it used to be and looks puffy. Something's wrong.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 05/22/10 10:07 AM

It could be part of his general weight gain.



That picture's over a year old, maybe closer to two. RDA underwent a series of surgeries on his shoulder, knee, and foot. The foot surgery didn't heal quickly and he spent three months in bed and gained 35 pounds. This is an active guy who was still playing ice hockey in his 50s. But with that much pain, Cortisone is a possibility. Did the SGU episode show his full body or was it just head and shoulders?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 05/22/10 05:42 PM

I watched the second showing after reading Austin's post, and it was head and shoulders only, I'm fairly certain. It looked like cortisone to me, too.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 05/22/10 07:59 PM

Oh my! I wouldn't have recognized him.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 06/07/10 07:51 PM

A fourth series of Torchwood is coming...NEXT SUMMER! Yep, 2011, and it won't be showing on BBCAmerica. STARZ bought the American rights. Only two of the original cast members are returning, John Barrowman and Eve Myles. I think they killed off all the rest of the cast, the other members of the team, I mean. Which I don't think was a bad move at all.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 06/08/10 12:06 PM

I wouldn't miss Eve Myles, either. But STARZ???
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 06/08/10 08:02 PM

Didn't SG-1 originate on STARZ?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/16/10 07:37 PM

No, on Showtime. (A much-delayed answer. Lorna, do you even remember asking the question?)

And WOW! A much-delayed response to Eureka's opening episode. I just now watched it, and those changes caused by the time-travelers! Are they permanent???
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/16/10 11:15 PM

Well, now we know. One good change (Alison's son), one incredible change (Fargo in charge), and the rest...future plot lines.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/17/10 12:41 PM

That was a smart move. They were able to tweak plot lines moving in directions they must have had second thoughts about -- for example, Jack has a love life again (although with the wrong lady). Deputy Jo was stopped from marrying Zane, a good move. Replacing Allison as head of Global Dynamics with Fargo, of all people! That should be fun. And a new character was added to the mix -- Dr. Grant, who worked with Einstein but now has to play catch-up. However, it was Allison's son Kevin who pretty much guaranteed they wouldn't be able to undo the changes they made. They couldn't send a normal, healthy kid back into his original autistic state.

Notice they did not bring Zoe back? That was smart, too.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 07/25/10 05:29 PM

Did anyone catch the season finale of Doctor Who? Whew, no one could ever accuse that show of not thinking big! I do like this kid Doctor.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/26/10 12:51 PM

So do I. And that was some finale. Other shows talk about the Big Bang, but...WHAMMO! I was surprised to see Matt Smith playing a death scene so soon after David Tennant was given one (they only thought they were dying, of course). I thought Smith's "death" was quite touching, coming in an otherwise completely daffy show.

This is the first time the Doctor has had a married couple as his companions, isn't it? I liked the evolution of Rory in this series. At his first appearance, he was just Amy's sort-of boyfriend, a bit of a doofus and easily intimidated. But he grew, and he developed stature. I guess dying on a distant planet 4000 years in the future and then being resurrected as a Roman soldier would either make you or break you.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 07/26/10 07:11 PM

One thing that bothered me...Amy finally has parents after growing up an orphan. But instead of taking some time to get to know them, the first she does is take off again with the Doctor and Rory.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/26/10 09:22 PM

Well, it was Amy's wedding day. The only way she could spend any time with them was to take them along on the honeymoon. Besides, the Tardis will bring her back to the same moment she left. They won't even know she'd been away.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 07/31/10 07:46 AM

Eureka...is that the same actress playing Zoey?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 07/31/10 11:24 AM

Yes, it's just the hair that makes her look so different. I wish the two prominent parents (Jack, Allison) could be better at parenting. They both stammer and hesitate and keep on trying to win favor with their offspring. Jack wised up before the end of the episode and returned to the calm, sensible Jack he normally is, and Allison may have learned her lesson too. However, I can't buy her cheating to let Kevin win the rocket race. That just seemed so out of character. But I loved the invisible cat.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 09/17/10 04:27 PM

Did anyone watch the Eureka season finale? I really like that show.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 09/18/10 11:40 AM

Watching it this weekend.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 09/18/10 05:24 PM

I watched it; I've grown quite fond of this show -- it's just so much fun. Credible characters constantly involved in incredible situations. IMO, Eureka is the most imaginative show on TV. And I always get a kick out of the little "in" references, such as Dr. Grant's referring to a former girl friend as "a tall, leggy blond in a slinky red dress."
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 09/19/10 12:42 PM

Or Alison's line, "Stay away from him, you bitch!"
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 09/19/10 07:08 PM

Or Sheriff Andy, the robot cop with the Mayberry view of life. Yep, I like this show a lot too. What I hate is the ridiculously long hiatus between seasons.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 10/17/10 04:30 PM

What the hell were Alex and his droogs doing in Caprica?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/17/10 06:32 PM

Ha! Chris, I thought the same thing. I imagine they were there mostly for decoration; they weren't on the screen for long, just as part of the arty look the episode took on. The producers are paying a lot of attention to the appearance of the show, and so far that's been working quite well. Same characters, though, and same plot. Esai Morales is being underused.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 10/18/10 04:26 PM

I was halfway hoping they'd forget about Caprica. The droogs were a nice touch, but there's still something missing. This show just doesn't do it for me.
Posted by: Mike

Re: SFTV - 10/18/10 06:10 PM

droogs?
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 10/18/10 08:15 PM

Friends, gang-buddies. It's part of a slang Anthony Burgess created for A Clockwork Orange. Take a look at a scene from the movie version where Alex feels a need to discipline his troops:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v90KPJ6n4Ew

Very, ahem, distinctive costumes, wouldn't you say? They showed up again, about 40 years later, in Caprica.
Posted by: Mike

Re: SFTV - 10/21/10 07:51 PM

Right, I remember them. I don't watch Caprica. Was it like a hommage?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 10/22/10 07:02 PM

Maybe. If this is their only appearance, it might merely be instant recognition/borrowed glory. If they're recurring cast...well, let's see if they are. Besides, we all know what Harlan Ellison said about homage.
Posted by: Mike

Re: SFTV - 10/22/10 08:46 PM

I don't. What did he say.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 10/22/10 10:28 PM

"Homage is French for rip-off."

Would you believe there's going to be another BSG spin-off? It will be about young Will/Bill Adama, fresh out of the academy and in charge of a new ship (!) in the middle of the first war with the Cylons. Scheduled for late next year or early 2012.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 11/02/10 06:56 PM

Caprica has been cancelled. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 11/03/10 06:17 PM

Well, I'm not terribly upset.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 11/20/10 11:02 AM

I've watched a couple of SG: Universe episodes that were surprisingly good. I still haven't found the "center" of this show, assuming there is one. Its only relation to SG1 is the use of the gate; there's none of the whimsy of some of the RDA episodes, and it lacks the strong personalities that made the earlier series work. On the other hand, Universe has a more adult look and the plots don't have alien races out to conquer the universe; it leaves those people out there pretty much on their own. It's modeled more after BSG than its namesake series.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 11-20-2010).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 11/20/10 02:15 PM

They're obviously going for the ensemble effect of BSG. But that show had an iron man holding the ensemble together. Young is no Adama, he's just an equal partner in the ensemble. Not the actor's fault, the role is just written that way.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 11/20/10 04:28 PM

Maybe Rush is meant to be the glue holding them together. But if Robert Carlyle gets any scruffier, he's going to turn into a pile of dandruff.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 12/09/10 08:00 AM

Did anyone watch Eureka? Goofiest Christmas episode I've ever seen. Loved it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/09/10 10:37 AM

I loved it too. I especially loved seeing Matt Frewer driving that jet-propelled sleigh behind the hologram reindeer. (I've had a soft spot for Frewer ever since Max Headroom.) That house-sized Christmas tree ornament rolling down the street was fun too.

Does "hologram" have an adjective form?
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 12/09/10 11:27 AM

Hologramic, I think. Or maybe hologrammic.

The spellchecker says both are wrong, for whatever that's worth (probably not much).
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/09/10 07:04 PM

Ah. I'd go for the double "m" myself, otherwise that "a" would be long. But that looks as if it should be right. The two online dictionaries I checked listed no adjective form, which seems careless of them. David, you've run across the word, as in something like "a hologrammic projection"?
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 12/09/10 07:52 PM

I've generally seen "holographic" used instead. But that's not correct, strictly speaking. I guess it will be, though, thanks to usage.

Holographic is the technique, and hologram is the resulting object. That distinction may already have gone the way of lie vs. lay. Aiiieeee!
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/10/10 03:07 AM

Oh, dear. At least the word won't be used as often as lie/lay; that confusion is still like fingernails on a blackboard to me.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 12/10/10 06:49 PM

I'm often shocked by the places I see the lie/lay confusion. By which I mean, publications that one expects to know better.

I know that I'll find myself slipping into that error eventually, just because of exposure.
Posted by: Pete

Re: SFTV - 12/11/10 09:33 AM

I think I understand lie/lay--until I get to past tenses and participles (do I have those terms right?) Isn't lay a past somethingorother for lie?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 12/17/10 07:53 AM

Yes, it is. Present tense: "He lies down and rests for an hour every afternoon." Past tense: "He lay down but couldn't rest."

Stargate Universe has been cancelled.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 12/17/10 06:09 PM

Just when it was starting to show signs of intelligence. Austin, weren't you the one who said all SF on TV ultimately disappoints? Sy-Fy has always been quick with the axe, though.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/27/10 02:02 AM

Did anyone watch the Doctor Who Christmas episode? A real hoot. The Doctor decided to steal a page from Dickens to soften up a mean old man whose help he needed and played the Ghost of Christmas Past himself, etc. Great F/X, the proper background for a crashing spaceship with 4003 people aboard, fish that can swim in fog, a woman who emerges from cryogenic storage every Christmas Eve, and the question of whether the Doctor really married Marilyn Monroe or not. A typical Who-ish plot.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 12/27/10 09:59 AM

Recorded it, but not watched it yet. Marilyn Monroe? Really?
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 12/28/10 05:03 PM

She's not a character, only referred to. I think the last line about the off-camera "marriage" was "It wasn't a real chapel."
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 01/07/11 07:01 PM

On Jan. 17 the SyFy Channel will debut a new series called Being Human about a vampire, a ghost, and a werewolf rooming together and trying to avoid being noticed. It's based on a British series that's said to be a big hit in the UK. I watched a few episodes of the original on BBC America, but I didn't find the show engaging or even very interesting. But maybe this is one of those shows that have to be watched right from the beginning.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 01/11/11 06:28 PM

Well, I'll watch the first episode, just to see how they got together. An ad in the paper? "Wanted: broadminded roommates..." But a series about cohabiting paranormals is not high on my wish list. Syfy just cancelled two of its series (Caprica, Stargate-Universe), maybe to make room for the new one? Probably the only reason Sanctuary is hanging on is that it's so inexpensive to make. Syfy doesn't have the patience (or the budget) to give a show time to build an audience.

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 01-11-2011).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 01/19/11 09:02 AM

I watched the first of the two back-to-back episodes, but I couldn't work up the interest to watch the second.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 01/19/11 10:08 AM

The werewolf is a wuss.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/19/11 10:57 AM

Now, there's a sentence I never thought I'd read. But I have to agree.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 03/14/11 11:58 PM

Is anyone watching the final episodes of SGU? Tonight's episode was good! A lot of thought went into it, and it wasn't cluttered up with a lot of patchwork snippets from different minor boring storylines. If the show had only started out like this, it probably wouldn't have been canceled.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 03/23/11 10:40 AM

This summer on SyFy:

Returning: Eureka, Haven, Warehouse 13

New:

Alphas, about a team of ordinary citizens with extraordinary abilities. (Er, Heroes, No Ordinary Family?)

Haunted Collector, paranormal investigation centering on haunted objects instead of places.

Paranormal Witness, true stories of paranormal experiences.

In development:

Blood and Chrome, the second BSG prequel.

Three half-hour comedies:
Me and Lee, Lee Majors turns a 20-something into a bionic man.

In the Dark, a team of wannabe paranormal investigators.

Three Inches, a man who is struck by lightning is imbued with the power to move things with his mind, but only a distance of three inches.
Reality projects:
Culture Shock with Tommy Lee, revealing secrets of secret societies.

Dinner with Deepak, eating and talking.

Monster Man, Cleve Hall's workshop.

Stunts Unlimited, the dangerous world of stunt men.

Hi Tech Hoaxes, a prank show.

Tyler Shields, a documentary series about the L.A. artist.

Overthunk, competing teams create massive chain reactions.

Change the Day You Die, high-tech visualizations of participants' deaths & ways to avoid that.

Imagination Nation, inventors meeting inventors.

America's Smartest Kids, kids compete in inventing a better future.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 03/23/11 09:08 PM

How unexciting.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 03/23/11 10:36 PM

Yep. The only thing on that list I'm looking forward to is the return of Eureka.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/25/11 05:01 PM

Has anyone noticed a new season of Dr. Who has started?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/25/11 06:40 PM

Yep, I did. It looks a little darker this time -- I like it.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 04/26/11 04:21 PM

Oh, I missed it! Looking for a repeat...
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 05/11/11 06:45 PM

SG-U is done. Too bad, in a way. It wasn't an especially good show, but the second season was a lot better than the first. It just took too long getting there.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 06/12/11 09:58 AM

Staying home on a Saturday night just got better, thanks to BBC America. A new episode of Doctor Who last night plus the 2-hour opening of BSG. They're going to replay the whole series, and that opening scene sucked me in all over again.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 06/12/11 06:35 PM

Me too. It's a perfect opening. That lone envoy from the colonies, on the remote space station built solely for the purpose of maintaining diplomatic relations with the Cylons, going through the motions of waiting for a Cylon representative who's never once shown up in forty years -- and then she comes. That one scene tells us this show is going to be high-style, dark, sexual, and filled with the unexpected. Perfect.

Except...there's no reason for it. Why would the Cylons waste their resources sending Six and her metal bodyguards there? The station is not strategically located. There's nothing going on there, nothing the Cylons would want. If anything, the Cylons are tipping their hand -- if anyone were paying attention. When Adama is informed the envoy hasn't returned, he dismisses the matter as insignificant; more important things are on his mind (the decommissioning of Galactica). That scene is there not because it's integral to the story but because it's a carrot dangling from a stick. It's exactly how I got sucked in the first time.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 07/08/11 07:02 PM

Torchwood returns tonight, on Starz.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/09/11 12:41 PM

Interesting. Both Torchwood and Doctor Who have female companions/associates who are dragging husbands along with them but still maintain a close but ambiguous relationship with their shows' alpha males. Last season, the Doctor's Amy thought she was pregnant. This new season, Jack's Gwen has an infant to care for. Probably more parallels are coming up. Same writer/producer for both shows, Russell T. Davies.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/09/11 04:31 PM

Yes, those are interesting parallels. But one show has one very noticeable difference. The Doctor keeps crossing paths with his future wife, who is living her timeline backwards -- her past is his future. (Must be a very short marriage.) But I'm curious to see if Davies comes up with a parallel to THAT.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/12/11 08:25 AM

Did anyone watch Alphas?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/12/11 12:25 PM

Not yet...recorded it.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 07/12/11 05:08 PM

I watched Alphas and liked it.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 07/12/11 06:00 PM

Not a Heroes rip-off? I recorded it too...didn't want to miss The Closer and Eureka.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/13/11 11:01 AM

Super-hero comics for not-quite-grown-ups.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/13/11 11:27 AM

With a little Mission Impossible tossed in. It wasn't bad once it got rolling, but that kid Gary is kind of hard to take.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/13/11 03:32 PM

One thing about Gary they got dead right, and that was the utter literal-mindedness of a child. Metaphor and connotation are totally lost on him. It looks as if Gary's function is to substitute for the magic computers so many other shows have, even NCIS. His ability to read wireless transmissions needs some fine-tuning, though. The scene in which he stood in the street and suddenly "read" that the bad guy was only two blocks away in THAT direction...much easier than actually going out and finding the guy. That scene was pure comic book stuff.

But there were good spots, too. The picturing of the trajectory of the bullet fired through the air vent to kill a man inside a locked room -- that was pretty nifty. So was Hicks's coming to understand his own potential by tossing coins at a vending machine. Sure, it's all X-Men and Heroes and Push, but it could be quite entertaining. The show needs a few more shake-down episodes first.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/19/11 11:44 AM

So, what do you think of Alphas after the second episode?
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 07/19/11 01:13 PM

I'm beginning to think Chris is right.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 07/19/11 02:48 PM

I didn't like it at all. After a promising opening, it turned into just routine action stuff with the mandatory explosions. If they have to blow things up to get our attention, they can't have much in their bag of ideas. And why does the new woman, their government supervisor, have to look so much like the woman on the team who can make people do things? I know I'm going to get them mixed up, IF I ever watch again.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/19/11 04:28 PM

It was disappointing, wasn't it? Maybe it's the sophomore curse. The second episode of SG-1 was awful. The second episode of Farscape was terrible. I don't think Alphas can rebound the way those two shows did, but it might. Give it one more shot.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/19/11 05:21 PM

Austin, you've asked twice what we think of Alphas, but you haven't told us what you think. C'mon, man -- give!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/19/11 09:17 PM

I was waffling. Couldn't decide after one episode, but the second was a real let-down. Dr. Rosen is the only character I can believe is real. The rest are just cartoon figures making a TV show, not real at all.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/20/11 06:19 PM

You've put your finger on the problem, Austin. David Strathairn's Dr. Rosen IS believable; we accept him as a real person. Unfortunately, he's alone. Look at successful shows like BSG, SG-1, NCIS, The Good Wife; they all have ensemble casts of highly individualistic people who complement each other well -- no confusing of characters there. Even in non-ensemble shows, stars-plus-support, it's the support that can make or break a show. I'm convinced a major reason Burn Notice turned out to be a hit is that it has the best supporting cast of all of USA's caper shows. And In Plain Sight is struggling for the opposite reason -- good star, weak support. Maybe the other Alphas will blossom in time, but so far it's all Rosen.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/24/11 10:27 PM

Something else Torchwood has that Doctor Who doesn't...sex scenes. Two of them, shown at the same time.

Bill Pullman is giving one helluva performance in Torchwood. I was surprised to see him and Wayne Knight in this series. Part of the Starz bankrolling deal, most likely.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 07/29/11 08:51 AM

I was looking forward to Terra Nova until I learned Brennon Braga was one of the producers. He's the guy who just about blanded Star Trek to death. (Yes, verbing weirds language.) The top man in the executive chain for TN is Steven Spielberg. He doesn't have a very good track record in TV, does he?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/29/11 12:05 PM

SeaQuest, Amazing Stories, Taken, The United States of Tara, and now Falling Skies, just another post-apocalypse yawn. No, not too good a track record.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/29/11 04:07 PM

What I remember about SeaQuest was that that state-of-the-art submarine had a swimming pool. And no matter what underwater gymnastics the sub had to perform, the water never sloshed out of the pool. Amazing.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/30/11 01:43 PM

Now it's Mare Winningham who shows up in Torchwood. I've always liked her, but I'm none too happy about the Americanizing of this show. Or maybe I just don't like the CIA agent Jack and Gwen have hooked up with. Too much of the bully in him. I'm sure Starz can always come up with more money than SyFy, but I wonder if Russell T. Davies made the right choice. However, the story they're telling is such a good one, I'll certainly stick with it. It's an old truism in the trade that all SF is either "What if...?" or "If this goes on..."; this current story seems to be both.

In case anyone hasn't seen the latest episode yet, I won't say what it is but only mention that the fate that befalls the Mare Winningham character is just about the cruelest I've ever witnessed on TV.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/31/11 12:15 PM

Watching tonight.

What bothers me about the Americanized Torchwood is that Jack is no longer front-and-center. He should be. Now he's just one of a group, not even a real ensemble since they just take turns before the camera.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 07/31/11 01:12 PM

I've seen it, but mum's the word.

What I don't like is the obviousness of the attempt to round out the new characters by giving them little background snippets. Rex the CIA bully has a father who hates him. Esther has a sister who's looney-tunes. So what? Who cares? That's air time that could have gone to Jack.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/31/11 04:36 PM

Maintaining silence on the last episode.

Immortality has been around a long time in fiction, especially SF, but they've really thought it through, what it would truly be like if no one ever died. What I miss in the series is the bizarre, the mystery, the weirdness. Given the one basic "What if...," the rest of the show is mostly an adventure story, the good fugitives vs. the Big Bad Corporation (and/or Government). A key ingredient is missing.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/31/11 07:10 PM

Well, it seems there's a lot about Torchwood we don't like. So why are we all watching it?

Ever read Jorge Luis Borges's "The Immortal"? It posits the theory that people who live forever will have eventually done everything there is to do, so boredom and lethargy take over. A zombie-like existence. It's a theory (or fear?) that occasionally pops up in SF. But the folks in Torchwood are a long way away from that state.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/02/11 11:35 AM

*****SPOILER*****

I think everyone here who watches Torchwood has seen the last episode, but if that's not the case, skip this post.
.
.
.
.
.
OK, I don't get it. Sure, it's horrible to think of someone being in a car that's crushed by a car compacter, but that's not exactly new, is it? We've seen it before, many times. It's almost a cliché in shows where mobsters want to make someone disappear. So why is this instance more cruel than the others?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/06/11 07:26 PM

Oops, missed this. Lorna, didn't you see that one eye peeking out through a crack in the wreckage? She's alive in there...she can't die. Every bone in her body must be crushed, and she has to live in that unimaginable pain forever, because nobody knows she's there.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/07/11 06:40 PM

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I missed that completely! Oh dear YES, that is incredibly cruel. How do they think up these things?

Last night's episode was just crammed with incident, most of it pretty horrible...but I won't say anything yet.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/09/11 01:23 PM

Eureka has been cancelled. No explanation.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 08/09/11 03:12 PM

WHAT???!!!???
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/09/11 06:15 PM

My reaction exactly. Of all the bad moves SyFy has made, this must be the dumbest. It has to be money, of course. Some bean counter figured the ratio of cost to advertising income wasn't profitable enough, so off with its head! They'd be better off cancelling all their other shows and pouring that money into Eureka.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/09/11 08:00 PM

Oh, what a pity! Eureka is SyFy's only quality show. It may not be SyFy's choice; USA could have pulled the plug. Or maybe even farther up the food chain -- it could have been an NBC decision. SyFy is low man on that totem pole. But whoever it was who decided to cancel Eureka, off with HIS head!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/10/11 02:45 PM

Monday night, when we turned on Eureka, I realized I was grinning. The show hadn't even started yet, and already I was grinning. How many shows can create that kind of anticipation?

Here's what the New York Times says:
Reversing what it had said just last week, Syfy now says it has canceled “Eureka,” a playful science-fiction series that the channel has broadcast since 2006.

The final season, its fifth, will have its debut early next year. “The 2012 episodes are some of the best we’ve seen, and will bring this great series to a satisfying end,” the channel said in a statement.

To disappointed fans, that sounded like a flip-flop. Last Thursday Syfy’s president of programming, Mark Stern, told Entertainment Weekly that the channel had committed to a six-episode sixth season. But there was a miscommunication. Inside a sprawling company like NBC Universal, which owns Syfy, giving the green light to a new season of a show requires approvals by many layers of bosses, and those approvals apparently had not been given.

Syfy did not elaborate on Tuesday, but called the move not to order a sixth season a “difficult business decision.”
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/23/11 07:04 PM

We finally got a Jack episode on Torchwood, but what a downer! This show has turned really dark. That last episode evidently is the set-up for the conclusion, so some relief has to be on the way.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/23/11 07:28 PM

Yeah, it was a downer, all right. Bleak. But Doctor Who is back, as wild and witty as ever.

Incidentally, the 2-hour opener of Terra Nova cost $16 million to make.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 08/23/11 09:55 PM

That's obscene.

A new semi-regular character is joining NCIS. I was hoping it would be a new Director, but he's an FBI agent. I hope he's not replacing Fornell, because he and Jethro play off each other so well. Oops, just realized this is the wrong topic. Oh well.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/24/11 07:16 PM

Naughty Rita.

In a way, Torchwood is Children of Men in reverse, but very like that movie in its unnatural and so far unexplained interference with the cycle of life and death. They're also similar in the way they show the quick breakdown of normal life and the despair and desperation that follow. Grim.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/25/11 12:17 AM

The movie Torchwood makes me think of is Blindness -- this horrendous event that the populace is in no way prepared to cope with, the panic, the helplessness. That movie ends with the beginning of the return to normalcy, and Torchwood seems headed in the same direction. The ending of Children of Men is more problematic (and more effective, IMO); the ray of hope we're given comes with a big question mark attached. But all three share that same heavy atmosphere of despair, so difficult to achieve fully and remain credible.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/27/11 08:55 AM

A more upbeat Torchwood this week, if you can call the death of an old man and Jack's getting shot "upbeat". But they're rolling toward a solution now, not paralyzed by despair. Wayne Knight is arrested, and look who the new CIA head honcho is...John DeLancie. Guy gets around.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 09/04/11 10:38 AM

I'm wondering how it can all be wrapped up in just one more episode; I hope Torchwood doesn't leave a lot of loose ends dangling the way BSG did. I'm especially concerned about Jack's kiss of death -- what in the world is behind that?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 10/22/12 05:41 PM

Is anyone watching Haven? It seems to have picked up the weirdness torch from Eureka, but without the humor.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/23/12 11:06 AM

I'll say! Like the episode a couple of weeks ago in which Audrey and Nate found the basement where the entire floor was covered with sleeping men -- all of them middle-aged, overweight, dirty, and stark naked. Now THAT was weird!
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 10/23/12 02:12 PM

Whew, that's one hell of an image! Haven...that's SyFy Channel?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 10/25/12 02:56 PM

Yes, on Fridays.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 12/25/12 02:51 PM

Is anyone going to watch Dr. Who and the Snowmen tonight?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/25/12 06:54 PM

Absolutely.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 12/26/12 07:31 PM

And much fun it was, too.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 12/26/12 09:54 PM

Wouldn't miss it, and didn't. Strange to see the Doctor so withdrawn instead of his usual hyperkinetic self, but that was soon fixed. grin
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/26/12 11:49 PM


CLARA: It's smaller on the outside!

THE DOCTOR: Well, that's new.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 12/27/12 03:41 PM

So what's new? I don't get it.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 12/27/12 04:57 PM

Everybody else always says "It's bigger on the inside!"
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/18/13 01:29 AM

Normally I don't care much for magic realism, but Haven has really nailed it. The season-ender was a lulu.

I finally got around to watching the first episode of Continuum, the Canadian series showing on SyFy. The first words in the episode were spoken by Tony Mendola (Master Brae'tac in Stargate: SG-1). Then a few minutes later we got William B. Davis (the cigarette-smoking man in The X-Files). So I started thinking it couldn't be long before Brian Markinson showed up -- and so he did, as a police official. The show itself...I don't know. I need to see a few more episodes.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 03/08/13 06:10 PM

SyFy has just bought a series called Helix from Ron Moore, who did Battlestar Galactica (and also Caprica, unfortunately). It hasn't even been cast yet...it sold on the basis of a pitch and a few scripts alone. Let's hope Moore learned from BSG and won't give us another cop-out ending.

It's about some scientists from the Center for Disease Control who visit a high tech installation in Antarctica to investigate a possible outbreak of some disease or other but find something that threatens the entire planet. Something...a virus? a space alien? James Arness? It does sound like The Thing.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 03/29/13 06:04 PM

Doctor Who, new episodes, tomorrow night.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 03/29/13 09:22 PM

Good. I'm in the mood for some hi-tech whimsy.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 03/30/13 09:08 PM

Followed by Orphan Blue, a new show. We just watched and enjoyed it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 03/31/13 06:04 PM

It's Orphan Black, and it is intriguing. But I'm at a loss as to how we're supposed to view our resourceful heroine. She's a druggie, she steals a dead woman's identity, wears her clothes, cleans out her bank account...

It was good to see Celia Imrie in Doctor Who. Quite a different role from the last one I saw her play (Marigold Hotel). But I kind of miss Amy.
Posted by: Pete

Re: SFTV - 04/01/13 09:47 AM

Game of Thrones is back and I got HBO just so I could watch it. They broadcast the entire second season all day and ended with the new show at 9:00 PM.

I tried to record The Good Wife (which was scheduled for the same time), but something else pushed the entire CBS schedule back, damn their eyes, and I missed the last 15 minutes of that show.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 04/01/13 06:23 PM

Black! Right. Duh.

So far, her only trace of conscience is provided by her gay friend. Perhaps she'll change for the better.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/02/13 07:45 PM

That should take three or four seasons. I guess the interest will come from watching how she handles dicey situations in her assumed life, like swallowing the restroom soap to cause herself to vomit when she was being questioned.

I miss Amy too. Remember her first appearance as an adult? She was dressed as a cop, but it turned out to be a costume instead of uniform, for some low-paying job she had. But even cast in that Miss Nobody role, she was a real presence on the screen, someone you'd never confuse with anyone else...right from her very first scene. The new companion...well, she's a pretty brunette, but there are thousands of those. Right now I can't even remember her face.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/12/13 02:02 PM

The last episode of Doctor Who was...not good. In fact, I think it's the only Matt Smith episode I haven't liked. As for Orphan Black -- if you hadn't already guessed the answer to the "twins" problem, the preview of the coming episode gave it away. I hate when they do that.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 04/14/13 12:30 PM

This is the fourth or fifth "Oh dear, someone's killing the clones" show or movie I've seen. After the one with all those little Hitlers on the loose, everything else seems tame.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/14/13 02:09 PM

But didn't you love it when Sarah smacked the soccer mom? grin

Another disappointing Who. They must have new writers.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 04/15/13 07:43 PM

Tonight is the 2-hour premiere of SyFy's new series, Defiance. Earth has been invaded by seven -- count them! -- SEVEN alien races who have devastated the planet. This one just might be different from all the other post-apocalyptic series in that it doesn't spell everything out. Viewers are meant to learn gradually about the world of the show, figuring it out a bit at a time. Remember the 2-hour premiere of BSG? Dozens of interconnecting vignettes, huge cast of characters, half-understood conversations and actions. Then by the end of the first season, every scene in that premiere was not only understandable but significant. It looks as if Defiance is aiming for the same thing.

Boy, do I sound desperate for a good SF series!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/16/13 10:47 AM

Ha. Me too, Rita. But Defiance ain't it.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 04/16/13 11:30 AM

Nooooooooo, it ain't. I've got to stop buying in to promo stuff.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 04/24/13 08:55 AM

You know, I kind of like Defiance. It's no BSG, but it's not bad. Nolan is likable and Irisa is interesting, and Julie Benz keeps popping up in the strangest places. The show leaves me wanting to know what happens next.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/24/13 10:50 AM

Aw, come on, Lorna! Nolan has this blue sphere the size of a grapefruit that expands into a superweapon that blows away an entire invading army? When the battle is going badly, Irisa rides in with a motorcycle gang that has weapons mounted on their handlebars -- where did she find them? For that matter, where did she get her motorcycle? And if old St. Louis is totally buried, why is that arch still standing? Etc, etc, etc.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/24/13 06:41 PM

Not to mention the fact that the aliens are "terraforming" Earth. Terraforming...Earth. Sheesh. You need more than a likable hero to make a good series; you have to have some smarts.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 04/30/13 11:26 AM

Yes, that's all true, and the newest episode steals a little from Aliens, and it's annoying...but I still want to see what happens next.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 05/05/13 12:11 PM

The latest Doctor Who seemed more on track than the earlier ones in this series...more Who-ish, and more fun. But Orphan Black was even more fun, like a French farce with violence added. The high point for me was when Alison the control freak totally lost it. Ha.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 05/19/13 05:18 PM

Wow, the Doctor Who finale knocked my socks off! So MUCH going on there! Wow.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/04/13 02:41 PM




The new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/04/13 03:20 PM

Who?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/04/13 04:54 PM

That's what I was going to say.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 08/04/13 07:03 PM

Evidently he's well known in the UK because of TV work. The audience at the live announcement on BBC America stood up and cheered when he walked on to the stage. (Did anyone else watch that besides Austin?) Capaldi is 55, the same age as William Hartnell when he played the first Doctor. Capaldi has played some small roles in movies, like a World Health Organization doctor (a WHO doctor, ha!) in World War Z. He looks kind of familiar to me, but I can't say from where. Did you know Doctor Who has been around for half a century? Started in 1963.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/04/13 11:04 PM

I watched the announcement, replayed this afternoon. Capaldi has a rather lightweight voice to be playing a character everyone listens to. But he was just speaking as himself on the announcement show, not acting. We'll see.

You know, they say your favorite Doctor is the first one you watched. That may be true in my case, as Tom Baker will always be THE Doctor to me. Matt Smith is a close second, but Baker really understood the whimsy of the role, with his bug eyes and mass of curly hair and the impossibly long scarf that he never once tripped over (we'll leave the shtik to Sylvester McCoy). I liked his companions too, especially Leela, who must surely be an ancestress of Fiona in Burn Notice ("Let's kill them!"). But no matter who's playing the Doctor, this show is always fun.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: SFTV - 08/05/13 05:44 AM

Peter Capaldi is best-known for playing a foul-mouthed spin doctor in a very entertaining BBC series called The Thick of It. There was also a 2009 film spin-off called In the Loop (with a cameo role for James Gandolfini) - see the IMDB. More recently, he was on stage in the West End playing the Alec Guinness role in The Lady-Killers.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/05/13 05:33 PM


Tom Baker was my first doctor, too, and my favorite. And Leela...oh, do I ever remember Leela! I was madly in love with her for about six weeks (I was 13). The Doctor called her "my savage".

Posted by: Pete

Re: SFTV - 08/06/13 08:44 AM

The local public TV station had a manager who hated Doctor Who, and refused to run it. He did run 13 weeks' worth once, maybe 20 years ago--I remember that it seemed to have been three half hour programs condensed into two half hours--and the production values were nearly zero. The actor wore what seemed to have been a ten foot long scarf, but I have no idea who he was.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/06/13 11:04 AM

That was Tom Baker. My first Doctor was Jon Pertwee. I loved his dandified ways, the ruffled shirts with the lace cuffs, and his sort of oh-dear approach to each new problem. Fun.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/06/13 06:47 PM

A curious point, why was John Hurt shown in the finale of last season, looking old as the hills? I got the impression that was some future Doctor, maybe the next one, which we now know he is not. He had no dialogue and no easily perceptible reason for being there. I didn't imagine him, did I?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/06/13 07:11 PM

No, you didn't imagine it; he was there in preparation for his appearance in the 50th anniversary show, in November. The show’s costume designer, Howard Burden, described Hurt as a “dark Doctor” and added:
“There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor [#8] and Christopher Eccleston [#9], when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.”
Some fans are speculating that this "dark" Doctor is responsible for the destruction of Gallifrey -- that would be interesting! But whatever Hurt's role, it screws up the numbering of the Doctors (unless they're going to call him Doctor #8.5).
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/07/13 10:03 AM

Oh, wow. A "lost" Doctor...what a cool idea! Can't wait till November.

Chris, I think he had a line or two, something about having to do what he did (unspecified, natch).
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/08/13 10:57 AM

Maybe so...I'm probably not remembering it correctly. But that IS a cool idea, and I hope it does have something to do with Gallifrey. Personally, I thought wiping out the time lords was a mistake. And the story of what happened was never really told, only referred to. But now maybe we'll get some answers.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 11/22/13 07:07 PM

On BBCAmerica, tonight: An Adventure in Time and Space, a dramatization of how Doctor Who came into being.

Saturday, the 50th-anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, featuring both Matt Smith and David Tennant. This one will be a global simulcast, sometime in the afternoon here (1:30 where I live); you'll need to check your local time. It will be repeated during the evening.
Posted by: Pete

Re: SFTV - 11/23/13 08:35 AM

Google is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Doctor today.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 11/24/13 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Christopher
Personally, I thought wiping out the time lords was a mistake.

Evidently the Who producers agree with you, Chris, since the three Doctors did a little rewriting of history and Gallifrey was "frozen in one moment of time" instead of being wiped out. I'm glad of that, because I like the idea of the Doctor belonging to a race of travelers in time and space instead of being the only one (which makes him kind of a freak). Clara accused the Doctor of having no purpose, just flying around having adventures. Well, now he has a purpose. Find Gallifrey!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 11/25/13 11:49 AM

That should keep the new Doctor busy for quite a while. But he knows where Gallifrey is located physically, so the search must be to find it in time, at that exact moment it was frozen. Then begins the defrosting...
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 11/25/13 06:08 PM

If this were any other series, I'd be concerned about this new purpose because it has an eventual end-point. But I know this is one show that will never run out of ideas, so, why worry?

I liked the three doctors, although that's probably the end of John Hurt's stint. I especially liked seeing Tom Baker show up at the end. He's still my fave. An Adventure in Time and Space was disappointing; it was mostly homage to William Hartnell. I wanted to see more of the "how" behind the origins, such as the casual way the interior of the Tardis was "designed", if you can call it that. How did they come up with the idea of the Daleks in the first place? And that music -- all we were shown was a hand jotting down notes on staff paper. Who invented the sonic screwdriver? Or the dog robot? That's the kind of thing I wanted to see.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 01/01/14 07:20 PM

Did anyone watch the final Matt Smith Who? I wasn't expecting a tear-jerker.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/02/14 06:55 PM

Neither was I, but I have to admit it got to me. I'm going to miss Matt Smith.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 01/03/14 06:47 PM

It was sad, wasn't it? I don't think the producers and writers wanted to say goodbye to Matt Smith either. I don't remember any other regeneration that had such a sense of loss attached to it.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 01/04/14 11:02 AM

Well, I'll confess, it made me cry, a little. So very unexpected. Matt Smith is going to be a hard act to follow.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 01/04/14 07:24 PM

I watched it late, and while it didn't make me cry, it did make me uncomfortable. I hope the new guy doesn't try to continue Smith's frenetic energy...that was his trademark. Seeing Smith so slow and even infirm at the end...well, that was painful.

One slightly annoying bit, and that was that near-supernatural intervention that gave him one more regeneration. I'd thought we were through with limiting the number of regenerations allowed, once we passed the original cat-like nine lives. Obviously no one ever thought the show would run this long. It would be better if they just forgot about the limitations rule ahd had him regenerate whenever there's a cast change.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/05/14 11:43 AM

Yes, that would be better -- no fuss, no deus ex machina. But isn't the unexpectedness in the episode in key with the rest of the Matt Smith series? Has any other Doctor regenerated because he was dying of old age? There's always been something new, something unexpected. I was a little startled to see the new Doctor making his first appearance looking like a scarecrow. But that too was unexpected.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 06/22/14 06:03 PM

Did anyone watch the new SyFy series, Dominion? I didn't see the movie it's based on, but I didn't care for it much. The only thing I liked was Anthony Head's performance, even without his English accent this time. Actually, I thought the whole thing was pretty silly.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 06/23/14 05:45 PM

Ludicrous, I'd call it. Can't you just see a bunch of guys sitting around trying to think up some new threat to humanity? "Let's see, now, we've had zombies, aliens, big apes, vampires, giant insects, Frankenstein creatures, tornadoes, wolfmen, earthquakes, poltergeists, melting ice caps, ghouls, bug-eyed monsters, tsunamis, demons, asteroids, blobs, cat people, vengeful pagan deities, hurricanes, man-eating plants, dinosaurs, gremlins, trolls, gargoyles, the Devil himself, and last but not least, mummies. So what's left? I know! Angels! Bad angels vs. human beings! That's the ticket!"

Bleaggh.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 06/23/14 06:52 PM

Hahahahahaha! Right on, Austin! I watched part of Dominion, but even Anthony Head couldn't make me stick it out to the end.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 06/24/14 08:02 PM

Well, I'm glad I skipped it.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 07/10/14 07:21 PM

You might want to skip Extant too. It's a little Gravity, a little 2001, a little AI, a little Solaris, and a little Disney. It's not badly done, but we've seen it all before.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/11/14 12:07 AM

It's The Astronaut's Wife with the sexes reversed, the story of a returning astronaut altered by some experience in space. Back in the 60s, there was an Outer Limits episode called "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" that told the same story. It's appeared in written fiction, such as one story Samuel R. Delaney wrote...arrgh, I can't remember the title. There's not one original thing in Extant, but I did like the show's quiet approach to telling the story instead of relying on F/X and action sequences.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 07/11/14 06:34 PM

Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah"?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 07/11/14 09:03 PM

That's it.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 08/22/14 12:04 PM

New Doctor Who tomorrow night. I wish him luck. He's got a hard act to follow.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/22/14 08:17 PM

Indeed he does. It sounds as if they're going about it the right way, making him as different from Matt Smith as possible -- 30 years older, darker, more serious, grumpy.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/23/14 09:00 PM

Well, that was a big let-down.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 08/23/14 09:50 PM

Yes, it was. The Doctor's entrance was good, and the scene at the end where #11 spoke to Clara for the very last time was quite touching. But all the stuff in between...not good.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/24/14 11:58 AM

I'm trying to withhold judgment until #12 has time to finish "cooking" -- as #11 once put it. But it's hard; this initial appearance was so disappointing. Clara is acting as stand-in for the viewers, getting to know the new Doctor.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/24/14 01:27 PM

Well, she's doing a better job of it than I am. I couldn't stand the guy. If he's going to be a darker Doctor, they're going to have to cut out the Sylvester McCoy shtick.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 08/24/14 06:36 PM

One thing that I disliked intensely was the cavalier disposal of the lady dinosaur. It was a cute idea, having the Doctor make his entrance like that. But then the writers were faced with the problem of this enormous dinosaur in London. The Doctor yells at her that he's going to save her, he's going to return her to where she belongs...and five seconds later she's killed. Why? She was an encumbrance to the plot, not because the cyborgs needed her. So if something gets in the way of the story, just kill it? That's the worst kind of hack writing.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 08/25/14 02:23 PM

Face it, Lorna, you're a softie. smirk But you're right, they just took the easy way out. Another bit of hack writing was the scene where Clara and the other three were fighting the cyborgs with swords. Everybody hacking and slashing away and no one got hurt. It was just a filler scene, broken into segments to give the Doctor time to finish whatever he was doing.

A much better made show (so far) is The Strain. No romanticizing of vampires there.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/26/14 02:13 PM

I've seen a couple of episodes, and yes, The Strain is well done. But, unfortunately, I think I've had enough of vampires to last me at least 300 years. Too much.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 09/16/14 07:25 PM

Haven returns tonight, SyFy Channel.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 09/29/14 05:50 PM

Well, I've had it with Doctor Who. The show has failed to meet even my lowered expectations. Capaldi is trying too hard to appear eccentric, same way David Tennant did. None of the episodes shown yet have been FUN. In fact, they verge on the tedious.

CBS is trying its hand at SF again with Scorpion...cliché nerds saving the world while lacking social skills, boo hoo, lots of technobabble, etc. Kid stuff.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 10/09/14 12:18 AM

Sorry I didn't see this before my modem went kaflooey, but you've hit the nail on the head, Austin. The show just isn't fun. It's not all Capaldi's fault, though; the stories all have an old-timey SF/fantasy quality to them, miles away from cutting edge. One episode a couple of weeks ago was more Twilight Zone than Who. There are occasional flashes of wit, but they're few and far between. Different writers from the ones who did the Matt Smith episodes.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 11/09/14 07:05 PM

Austin and Barbara, I'm reluctantly going to agree with you. We had a Triffids episode, then a Fantastic Voyage episode (Who had already done one of those, with Tom Baker). Running out of ideas? Then the finale was a kind of high-tech Armageddon with even the kitchen sink thrown in. The only real fun in that episode was provided by Missy, the Master in some female incarnation.

Odd thing...in the opening credits, Jenna Coleman's name came first, before Capaldi's. I don't remember ever seeing a companion listed ahead of the Doctor before. It looks as if her time with the Doctor is over, but she made a fetching Lydia in Death Comes to Pemberley.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 11/11/14 10:03 AM

That last episode suffered from giantism. The bigger the bang, the better the episode? I don't think so.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/26/14 10:36 PM

Well, thanks to Doctor Who, we now know how Santa Claus manages to cram all those presents he must deliver into the sleigh: it's bigger on the inside.

Jenna Coleman has changed her mind and will be returning to the show.

A stocking stuffer I received this year is a tea infuser in the shape of the Tardis. smile
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/25/15 06:45 PM

A tentative thumbs up for the two new shows SyFy launched this season, Helix and 12 Monkeys. I didn't expect much of either of them because they both have the same cliché subject matter, finding a way to stop a virus that has wiped out most of the human race. Helix is a straightforward story of a small group of shipboard survivors searching for a medical solution, but it's being treated like a journey of discovery, of encountering unexpected things along the way. 12 Monkeys is the series version of the Bruce Willis movie, mixing time travel with cure-hunting. The hero is sent back in time to kill the man who developed the virus (a plot that first aired as an Outer Limits episode back in the 60s). It's the slicker of the two series, fast-moving and filled with a sense of urgency. Obviously these shows are no innovators, but the dialogue in both of them is a tad above average. In the way of SF on TV, they'll probably crash and burn, or maybe just fizzle out, but right now they're worth watching.

My newest Guilty Pleasure: Galavant, the "medieval musical" on ABC. It's just goofy enough that you don't mind the occasional vulgarity too much. Timothy Omundson is giving a bang-up performance as King Richard; nothing I've ever seen him do before indicated he had this kind of talent.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 01/26/15 04:59 PM

This is the second season for Helix. The story started out at an isolated Antarctic (I think) research station.

I gave up on it after a few episodes because the writers seemed to be adding twists and turns without any goal in mind, as far as I could tell.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/26/15 06:28 PM

My goodness! I missed a whole year of Helix and didn't even notice? blush That IS embarrassing. Well, just judging from the second season, the floating research lab seems to be following an Odyssey-type path, with stops with lotus-eaters and the like.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: SFTV - 01/27/15 12:36 PM

You could probably buy Season One on DVD, if you're a glutton for punishment. smile

The icebound lab was limiting. Now the writers can keep throwing in all sorts of provocative gimmicks that won't lead anywhere.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 01/27/15 02:58 PM

The name Timothy Omundson rang a bell, kind of, so I looked him up and he turned out to be this guy:



I've seen him in a dozen shows at least, and his biggest role was probably in Psych. But I didn't recognize him behind the beard as King Richard in Galavant, and I didn't know he could sing. Nice surprise!
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/28/15 10:39 PM

That's the guy. I didn't watch Psych, but he usually plays a foil to the hero, to make him look good. He's certainly attuned to the kind of whimsy at work in Galivant though.
Originally Posted By: David Dvorkin
You could probably buy Season One on DVD, if you're a glutton for punishment. smile
Umm, well, I think I'll just take your word for it. But I'm sticking with the second season for now.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 04/07/15 03:06 PM

Barbara, are you still watching Helix and 12 Monkeys?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 04/07/15 05:11 PM

No. David was right.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 04/17/15 06:20 PM

Orphan Black tomorrow night.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 06/21/15 07:01 PM

And now it's over, with Helena now established as a more amiable psychopath and superefficient killer. The final episode of the season had a Dickensian family gathering that was as pleasing as it was unexpected.

I'm still watching Defiance, although I'm of two minds about the show. More care and attention goes into the making of each episode than in some movies I've seen lately (I'm thinking Ex Machina). Defiance has a nice variety of idiosyncratic characters, good dialogue, excellent production values. But it is so very violent; people drop like flies in that show. The last episode alone had seven killings, unless the grizzled, rather nasty grandmother (surprisingly played by Linda Hamilton) somehow manages to survive. I don't know quite what to make of it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 06/23/15 01:30 PM

Post-apocalptic stories are all like Survivor, or vice versa, rather. You protect yourself by eliminating others. I haven't been keeping up with Defiance, but I did see the last episode. At least three of those deaths were redshirts, not that that matters. But when you've got a mix of both human and alien survivors, there's going to be fireworks. Pretty bleak picture of human behavior.
Posted by: Rita

Re: SFTV - 06/23/15 09:33 PM

That was Linda Hamilton? I didn't even recognize her!
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 08/15/15 06:41 PM

I had a SyFy evening last night...first time in a long time. I've been recording Defiance, as intense and well-done as a movie, and last night was no exception. I especially like Jaime Murray's performance as Stahma, so smoothly polite, manipulative, deceitful, treacherous, and, yes, charming. And alien. Most of all, alien. Killjoys and Dark Matter are both caper shows with SF settings, not totally engaging but entertaining enough in their ways. And I watched Dominion for only the second time, the show with angels. I liked seeing Anthony Head in an aggressive role, so different from what he usually plays. But I was surprised to learn that jeans are acceptable angelic garb.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 08/17/15 12:32 AM

In spite of my initial misgivings, I'm now totally caught up in Defiance. Amanda (Julie Benz) started out as the female lead, but as insidiously as she does everything else, Jaime Murray's Stahma has taken that role for herself. Her first few appearances showed how subservient to her husband Datak their culture required her to be, but the melting-pot population of Defiance opened doors for her she was quick to take advantage of. Her triumph over Datak was sweet, but there's some sort of sick bond that's still holding them together; can't wait to see how that works out..
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 12/18/15 07:41 PM

Anyone here still watching Haven? The show's finale was last night, which wrapped things up beautifully. It was a stroke of genius to bring Shatner into the final season as the Big Bad everyone in town was terrified of. He played the role absolutely straight, no self-parody at all. A satisfying end.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: SFTV - 12/19/15 10:48 AM

So, what does that do to your dictum that all SF on TV ultimately disappoints?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: SFTV - 12/19/15 01:00 PM

Nothing. This is the SF topic and Haven aired on the SyFy Channel, but it was never science fiction. It dealt with the "paranormal"...our dressed-up word for "supernatural". Ghosts and stuff. Whole different ball game.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 12/20/15 12:23 AM

Shatner is so well known now that I wonder if it's any longer possible to see him as anyone other than himself, as a character instead of Shatner? I enjoyed his performance as Croatoan in Haven; he did a good job. But I was always aware I was watching Shatner playing Croatoan.

I missed a number of episodes around the middle of the series, but I agree wholeheartedly with Austin that the finale was spot on. After seasons of conflicts that would seem inevitably to head toward one side obliterating the other, the sweet air of reconciliation was as satisfying as it was unexpected. It wasn't all neatly tied up with a pretty bow -- there was loss, there was compromise. But Haven is finally free of the troubles, the townspeople have a future again...and Shatner got the last word. Yes. It was good.

BTW, did you know that when the lost colony of Roanoke Island disappeared, the colonists left the word "Croatoan" behind, carved on a tree?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: SFTV - 01/30/17 07:14 PM

Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who.

YAY!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: SFTV - 01/31/17 12:25 PM

I thought he was OK, but I won't miss him.